Applegreen is a major petrol forecourt retailer with operations in the Republic of Ireland, The UK and the USA. It offers a distinctive convenience retail offering in the forecourt space. It is the number one motorway service area operator in the Republic of Ireland. It offers extremely pleasant and comfortable facilities in striking architecturally designed buildings in a mixture of contemporary and traditional materials. Applegreen has a number of strategic partnerships with international brands such as Burger King, Subway, Greggs, Costa Coffee, Lavazza, Chopstix, Freshii and 7-Eleven. Alongside these partnerships it offers its own distinctive food offering tailored for the Irish consumer under the Bakewell Café brand. Coffee is a key element of the offering and high-quality coffee is available from self service machines and also barista style. It is proudly served as “The best coffee on the road”.
Clickworks was commissioned by Applegreen to help give their coffee cups and website a brand face-lift. Specifically, we wanted to ensure Applegreen is seen as the premium Irish brand that they are.
Applegreen’s graphic designs need to both reflect the brands positioning and reinforce the architectural and branded environment in which they are sold. The designs needed to be of a quality of both competitors and partner brands. We chose to reflect the colour palette and architectural forms of the environments in the pack designs. A simple modular system that could work across a range of sizes and formats of cups was decided upon. A key strategic aim was the communication of the new 100% recyclable materials in a prominent but not preachy or over dominant way. As the cups are sold in a heavily branded environment one of our key strategic decisions was to brand them lightly and to elevate the coffee rather than the Applegreen brand.
As mentioned above, Applegreen’s website needs to ensure they are seen as a premium Irish brand. A key objective of the site was to communicate an array of quality and healthy food offerings. We also wanted to ensure integration with their “fuel good” campaign which featured low cost and environmentally friendly fuel solutions. To ensure user engagement, we built an interactive tool that calculates overall consumer savings when compared to market prices. We also wanted to make sure that the site served all of Applegreen’s key audiences. So, while primarily targeting the consumer segment, we also ensured clear entry points for B2B audiences. In our business section of the website, we offered content to investors, dealers, and those seeking a career at Applegreen.
Our solution was to elevate the key slogan of “Best coffee on the road”. Placing this slogan in a diamond shape inspired by road signs formed the central nucleus of our design. Using the diamond shape, a modular pattern was built that both cleverly reflected current design trends and evoked the striking Applegreen interiors. Coffee bean and takeaway cup motifs were alternated with the Applegreen logo and a simple geometric design. The colour black is a key component of the Applegreen architecture and it formed the basis of our monochrome palette. To create energy and to evoke the bespoke aspect of the barista offering we decided that the three cups should work as a suite while not being exact matches. Our pattern was used in both positive form on a white base and reversed on black. For the third cup the Applegreen logo was heroed with three simple diamond motifs isolated from the pattern underneath.
We utilised a variety of design approaches to ensure we communicated an Irish and premium look and feel. In terms of photography, choice of natural light. unposed photography, and use of the Irish landscape provided high impact and uniquely Irish photography. Also, the use of a casual tone of voice and different shades of green led to an overall Irish / local feel to the website. To ensure the brand read as premium we used dark gray as a prominent colour, which is in line with the new cup design and resembles a car’s control panel. Also, the use of subtle engraved lines resembling that of a car interface (built in buttons) lent further gravity to the design. We also used tinted photos to feel cosy and like inside a VIP car. The different tones of light gray with subtle background grain gives a palpable / authentic look and feel. Last, the use of serif/italic font brings elegance and premium look and feel.
We aimed to, first and foremost, ensure a very consumer centric approach. The main hero frame reflects the core consumer; Irish, casual, on the go. Our goal was to ensure that Applegreen presents itself as a warm, friendly and welcoming brand. We wanted to make sure that consumers and business partners alike, will feel “At home at Appegreen”
The site just launched on July 3rd and the coffee cups are still new to market. While the client team is very pleased with the work we completed, actual results are still pending.